Chemical industry groups urge EPA to review chemical industry rules

Chemical industry trade groups and Democratic senators are calling for an investigation into whether the Trump administration is taking too many shortcuts in regulating chemicals that make up a large part of the U.S. economy.

Industry groups and the Trump transition team have argued that chemical companies need to be more efficient, while the EPA has also said it wants to be sure it is adequately regulating chemicals. 

But on Monday, the chemical industry groups said they had received assurances from the Trump White House that there will be more transparency and accountability from the EPA in regards to the chemical industries.

“I know the administration has been talking about taking the chemical sector in a different direction,” said Karen DeMarco, senior vice president for regulatory affairs at the American Chemistry Council, a chemical industry trade group.

“I know they want to be able to put out more information, but it’s also clear that they want transparency.”

DeMarco said she was confident the Trump Administration would follow the EPA’s guidance.

“They’re going to take a step back from the rules and we want the American people to know about that, because the American public is not going to trust them to be taking those steps,” DeMarco said.

The Chemical Industry Institute (CII), an industry trade organization, sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Monday that called on Pruitt to clarify whether the administration is following the guidelines set by the Trump EPA.

The letter said the chemicals industry is not happy about what it sees as the Trump Trump administration’s decision to exempt many chemicals from certain rules.

“As we’ve argued for months, we have strong concerns about the lack of transparency and public accountability the Trump team has shown in its attempts to change the rules on chemical safety and regulatory burdens,” CII Executive Director Kevin Sabet said in a statement.

“These new regulations will not make our industry safer, and they will be a devastating blow to the millions of jobs our industry has created and will drive up the cost of chemicals in our country.”

The chemical industry has long argued that the rules are not set up to provide more certainty for the chemicals, and instead have been set up so that companies can avoid paying more for the chemical ingredients they need to manufacture products.

“This is the latest example of the Trump regime abusing its power and using it to protect itself from accountability,” DeCarlo said.